Advertisement

A dynamic computational model of employees goal transformation: Using self-determination theory

  • Ying Zhang
  • Jian ZhangEmail author
  • Jacques Forest
  • Zhihua Chen
Original Paper

Abstract

Following self-determination theory, this paper investigates the relations of employees’ perceptions of supervisors’ autonomy-supportive or controlling environments to their intrinsic or extrinsic work goals using both a field study and a computational dynamics model (Vancouver and Weinhardt in Org Res Methods 15(4):602–623, 2012), which is a recent and innovative technique. In Study 1, we did an empirical study with 128 employees over a half-year period and found that employees’ perceptions of supervisors’ autonomy-supportive environments satisfied employees’ basic psychological needs and promoted their intrinsic goals; controlling environments frustrated their basic needs and promoted their extrinsic goals. In Study 2, we used a system dynamics model to simulate the change in employees’ extrinsic goals, and the results showed that perceptions of supervisors’ autonomy-supportive environments related to the transformation of employees’ extrinsic goals. The study contributes by demonstrating that employees’ perception of supervisors’ environments could be a reason for employees’ different goal orientations, and it contributes by simulating the use of the dynamic process of goal transformation in research.

Keywords

Goal content Autonomy-supportive/controlling environments Computational dynamics model Goal transformation 

Notes

Funding

Funding was provided by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 71771022), Basic research funding project of University of Science and Technology Beijing (Grant No. FRF-BR-18-001B) and China Scholarship Council (CSC).

References

  1. Adner, R., Polos, L., Ryall, M., & Sorenson, O. (2009). The case for formal theory. Academy of Management Review, 34(2), 201–208.Google Scholar
  2. Ballard, T., Yeo, G., Vancouver, J. B., & Neal, A. (2017). The dynamics of avoidance goal regulation. Motivation and Emotion, 41(6), 698–707.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A. (1989). Human agency in social cognitive theory. American Psychologist, 44(9), 1175–1184.Google Scholar
  4. Barber, B. K. (1996). Parental psychological control: Revisiting a neglected construct. Child Development, 67(6), 3296–3319.Google Scholar
  5. Bartholomew, K. J., Ntoumanis, N., Ryan, R. M., Bosch, J. A., & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C. (2011). Self-determination theory and diminished functioning: The role of interpersonal control and psychological need thwarting. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(11), 1459–1473.Google Scholar
  6. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.Google Scholar
  7. Beal, D. J., & Weiss, H. M. (2003). Methods of ecological momentary assessment in organizational research. Organizational Research Methods, 6(4), 440–464.Google Scholar
  8. Benita, M., Roth, G., & Deci, E. L. (2014). When are mastery goals more adaptive? It depends on experiences of autonomy support and autonomy. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106, 258–267.Google Scholar
  9. Broeck, A., Vansteenkiste, M., Witte, H., Soenens, B., & Lens, W. (2010). Capturing autonomy, competence, and relatedness at work: Construction and initial validation of the work-related basic need satisfaction scale. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(4), 981–1002.Google Scholar
  10. Chen, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Beyers, W., Boone, L., Deci, E. L., Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., & Verstuyf, J. (2015). Basic psychological need satisfaction, need frustration, and need strength across four cultures. Motivation and Emotion, 39(2), 216–236.Google Scholar
  11. Deci, E. L. (1975). Intrinsic motivation. New York: PlenumPress.Google Scholar
  12. Deci, E. L., Connell, J. P., & Ryan, R. M. (1989). Self-determination in a work organization. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(4), 580–590.Google Scholar
  13. Deci, E. L., Olafsen, A. H., & Ryan, R. M. (2017). Self-determination theory in work organizations: The state of a science. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 4, 19–43.Google Scholar
  14. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(6), 1024–1037.Google Scholar
  15. Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The” what” and” why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227–268.Google Scholar
  16. Duriez, B. (2011). The social costs of extrinsic relative to intrinsic goal pursuits revisited: The moderating role of general causality orientation. Personality and Individual Differences, 50(5), 684–687.Google Scholar
  17. Duriez, B., Giletta, M., Kuppens, P., & Vansteenkiste, M. (2013). Extrinsic relative to intrinsic goal pursuits and peer dynamics: Selection and influence processes among adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 36(5), 925–933.Google Scholar
  18. Frodi, T., & O’Keane, V. (2016). Integrating the stress systems and neuroimaging in depression. In T. Frodi (Ed.) Systems neuroscience in depression (pp. 269–308). Cambridge: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gagné, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(4), 331–362.Google Scholar
  20. Gillet, N., Colombat, P., Michinov, E., Pronost, A. M., & Fouquereau, E. (2013). Procedural justice, supervisor autonomy support, work satisfaction, organizational identification and job performance: The mediating role of need satisfaction and perceived organizational support. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(11), 2560–2571.Google Scholar
  21. Gillet, N., Gagne, M., Sauvagère, S., & Fouquereau, E. (2013). The role of supervisor autonomy support, organizational support, and autonomous and controlled motivation in predicting employees’ satisfaction and turnover intentions. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(4), 450–460.Google Scholar
  22. Grouzet, F. M., Kasser, T., Ahuvia, A., Dols, J. M. F., Kim, Y., Lau, S., & Sheldon, K. M. (2005). The structure of goal contents across 15 cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(5), 800–816.Google Scholar
  23. Hardré, P. L., & Reeve, J. (2009). Training corporate managers to adopt a more autonomy-supportive motivating style toward employees: An intervention study. International Journal of Training and Development, 13(3), 165–184.Google Scholar
  24. Hayes, A. F. (2017). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Publications Press.Google Scholar
  25. Hulin, C. L., & Ilgen, D. R. (2000). Introduction to computational modeling in organizations: The good that modeling does. In D. R. Ilgen & C. L. Hulin (Eds.), Computational modeling of behavior in organizations: The third scientific discipline (pp. 3–18). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  26. Janssen, O., & Van Yperen, N. W. (2004). Employees’ goal orientations, the quality of leader-member exchange, and the outcomes of job performance and job satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal, 47(3), 368–384.Google Scholar
  27. Kammeyer-Mueller, J., Wanberg, C., Rubenstein, A., & Song, Z. (2013). Support, undermining, and newcomer socialization: Fitting in during the first 90 days. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), 1104–1124.Google Scholar
  28. Kasser, T., & Ryan, R. M. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(3), 280–287.Google Scholar
  29. Kasser, T., Ryan, R. M., Zax, M., & Sameroff, A. J. (1995). The relations of maternal and social environments to late adolescents’ materialistic and prosocial values. Developmental Psychology, 31(6), 907–914.Google Scholar
  30. Kelly, J. R., & McGrath, J. E. (1988). On time and method. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc Press.Google Scholar
  31. Koestner, R., Powers, T. A., Milyavskaya, M., Carbonneau, N., & Hope, N. (2015). Goal internalization and persistence as a function of autonomous and directive forms of goal support. Journal of Personality, 83(2), 179–190.Google Scholar
  32. Kohn, A. (2008). The brighter side of human nature: Altruism and empathy in everyday life. New York: Basic Books Press.Google Scholar
  33. Landry, A. T., Kindlein, J., Trépanier, S., Forest, J., Zigarmi, D., Houson, D., & Brodbeck, F. C. (2016). Why individuals want money is what matters: Using self-determination theory to explain the differential relationship between motives for making money and employee psychological health. Motivation and Emotion, 40(2), 226–242.Google Scholar
  34. Lekes, N., Gingras, I., Philippe, F. L., Koestner, R., & Fang, J. (2010). Parental autonomy-support, intrinsic life goals, and well-being among adolescents in China and North America. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(8), 858–869.Google Scholar
  35. Li, Y. (2015). Can pursuit for material bring us happiness and well-being? Studies on materialistic values and its effects. Journal of Beijing University of Technology (Social Science Edition), 15(4), 7–12.Google Scholar
  36. Lindwall, M., Weman-Josefsson, K., Sebire, S. J., & Standage, M. (2016). Viewing exercise goal content through a person-oriented lens: A self-determination perspective. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 27, 85–92.Google Scholar
  37. Nie, Y., Chua, B. L., Yeung, A. S., Ryan, R. M., & Chan, W. Y. (2015). The importance of autonomy support and the mediating role of work motivation for well-being: Testing self-determination theory in a Chinese work organisation. International Journal of Psychology, 50(4), 245–255.Google Scholar
  38. Preacher, K. J., & Hayes, A. F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior Research Methods, 40(3), 879–891.Google Scholar
  39. Ryan, R. M. (1995). Psychological needs and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development and well being. American Psychologist (63), 397–427.Google Scholar
  40. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness. New York: Guilford Publications Press.Google Scholar
  41. Scherbaum, C. A., & Vancouver, J. B. (2010). If we produce discrepancies, then how? Testing a computational process model of positive goal revision. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(9), 2201–2231.Google Scholar
  42. Sheldon, K. M., & Gunz, A. (2009). Psychological needs as basic motives, not just experiential requirements. Journal of Personality, 77(5), 1467–1492.Google Scholar
  43. Sonnentag, S. (2015). Dynamics of well-being. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behaviour, 2(1), 261–293.Google Scholar
  44. Taber, C. S., & Timpone, R. J. (1996). Computational modeling. Thousand Oaks: Sage Press.Google Scholar
  45. Tang, H. (2008). The Chinese version of aspiration index: Reliability and validity. Chinese Journal of Clinical Psychology, 16(1), 15.Google Scholar
  46. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1992). Advances in prospect theory: Cumulative representation of uncertainty. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5(4), 297–323.Google Scholar
  47. Van Yperen, N. W., & Orehek, E. (2013). Achievement goals in the workplace: Conceptualization, prevalence, profiles, and outcomes. Journal of Economic Psychology, 38, 71–79.Google Scholar
  48. Vancouver, J. B. (1996). Living systems theory as a paradigm for organizational behavior: Understanding humans, organizations, and social processes. Behavioral Science, 41(3), 165–204.Google Scholar
  49. Vancouver, J. B., & Purl, J. D. (2017). A computational model of self-efficacy’s various effects on performance: Moving the debate forward. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(4), 599–616.Google Scholar
  50. Vancouver, J. B., Putka, D. J., & Scherbaum, C. A. (2005). Testing a computational model of the goal-level effect: An example of a neglected methodology. Organizational Research Methods, 8(1), 100–127.Google Scholar
  51. Vancouver, J. B., Tamanini, K. B., & Yoder, R. J. (2010). Using dynamic computational models to reconnect theory and research: Socialization by the proactive newcomer as example. Journal of Management, 36(3), 764–793.Google Scholar
  52. Vancouver, J. B., & Weinhardt, J. M. (2012). Modeling the mind and the milieu: Computational modeling for micro-level organizational researchers. Organizational Research Methods, 15(4), 602–623.Google Scholar
  53. Vancouver, J. B., Weinhardt, J. M., & Vigo, R. (2014). Change one can believe in: Adding learning to computational models of self-regulation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 124(1), 56–74.Google Scholar
  54. Vansteenkiste, M., Lens, W., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Intrinsic versus extrinsic goal contents in self-determination theory: Another look at the quality of academic motivation. Educational Psychologist, 41(1), 19–31.Google Scholar
  55. Vansteenkiste, M., Neyrinck, B., Niemiec, C. P., Soenens, B., Witte, H., & Broeck, A. (2007). On the relations among work value orientations, psychological need satisfaction and job outcomes: A self-determination theory approach. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 80(2), 251–277.Google Scholar
  56. Vansteenkiste, M., Smeets, S., Soenens, B., Lens, W., Matos, L., & Deci, E. L. (2010). Autonomous and controlled regulation of performance-approach goals: Their relations to perfectionism and educational outcomes. Motivation and Emotion, 34, 333–353.Google Scholar
  57. Vansteenkiste, M., Soenens, B., & Duriez, B. (2008). Presenting a positive alternative to strivings for material success and the thin-ideal: Understanding the effects of extrinsic relative to intrinsic goal pursuits. Positive Psychology: Exploring the Best in People, 4, 57–86.Google Scholar
  58. Wang, M., Zhou, L., & Zhang, Z. (2016). Dynamic modeling. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 3, 241–266.Google Scholar
  59. Welsh, D. T., & Ordóñez, L. D. (2014). The dark side of consecutive high performance goals: Linking goal setting, depletion, and unethical behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 123(2), 79–89.Google Scholar
  60. White, R. W. (1959). Motivation reconsidered: The concept of competence. Psychological Review, 66(5), 297–333.Google Scholar
  61. Williams, G. C., Hedberg, V. A., Cox, E. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Extrinsic life goals and health-risk behaviors in adolescents 1. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 30(8), 1756–1771.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Donlinks School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology BeijingBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, School of Management SciencesUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.School of Humanities and Economic ManagementChina University of Geosciences BeijingBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations